A role model for all ages
Arlene Lowell, 85, of Bethel is up on weekday mornings at 4:15 a.m.
That alone may not be surprising for someone of her generation.
But more unusual is what she does next: Lowell heads off to the fitness center for an hour of aerobic and weights work.
She has been going to Workout 24-7 in Bethel (or to the former Ellie’s Ladies Workout) for the past seven or eight years.
“Before that I walked,” Lowell said last Friday morning as she worked a weight machine. “I just thought this would be fun and healthy.”
In fact, she has so much fun with the four other women who turn out at 5:30 a.m. that the workouts can go beyond an hour, just because of all the laughter.
The other regulars are Pattie Parsons, Gina Douglass, Pam Rugg and Doris Mills. They said she is an inspiration.
“Arlene is a role model,” said Parsons. “I brag about her to other people.”
Lowell, a lifelong homemaker, makes the rounds of eight machines, hitting each one at least twice a morning.
“The bike is my favorite,” she said. She rides five miles as soon as she arrives at the center.
Then she moves to a weight machine, taking turns pulling up 20-pound weights with each hand.
Although she’s very dedicated, Lowell doesn’t come out every morning no matter what.
“If there’s a snowstorm – if they call school off – I don’ come,” she said.
She also stays home on weekends, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still active.
“I walk around the outside of the buildings at Telstar (near her home),” Lowell said. “And if it rains, I have a treadmill I use for half an hour while I watch TV.”
In the summer she tends a large garden, which she still rototills herself.
An abundance of vegetables in her diet also likely contributes to her health.
“I grew up on a farm, eating beets, squash, broccoli, tomatoes, all of that,” she said.
That winning lifestyle combination has also produced a remarkable memory.
“We’re all talking about someone, and we say, ‘What’s her name?’ and she shoots it right out,” said Douglass.
Lowell has no plans to retire from her workouts anytime soon.
“As long as I feel well, I’ll keep going,” she said. “I’ll go til I drop.”